By Fred Fields
Experience is the best teacher. It doesn't have to be your own, and anybody's experience can qualify. That's why we study history. If we can find out how a particular problem was solved in 1350, AD, we may be able to solve the same problem the same way in 2012, AD.
The first important lesson I learned about writing and being able to sell what I wrote was that "how to" books sell a lot better than fiction. Anyone can write how to and sell it. But few ever become Louis L'Amour or Agatha Christie. I learned this at the SC Book Festival, the same day and the same place I learned about SCWW.
So I put aside my great American novel and wrote a book about how to play golf.
Being totally unknown, and having to compete with famous golf pros and authors, I really had no hope of finding a traditional publisher who would print and merchandise my book. So I took it to Kinko's for an estimate on the price of printing. It was about $6.00 a book, actually more reasonable than I expected.
My son-in-law recommended that I contact Amazon. They have a printing subsidiary called CreateSpace, which has a three page pamphlet online describing their service. It looked interesting, so I contacted them, liked their program even better as I got to know it, and subscribed to their service.
This is not a commercial for Createspace. Being a total ADD Type, I stopped looking when I found them. But there are several others who provide the same service, probably as well, maybe better. I just picked the first good deal I found.
I was able to have my book published and on the market within two weeks of completion. I set the price. I was a published author. I was very happy with the result.
Next problem, how to market the book.
Back to the SC Book Festival, where there was a seminar on merchandising. I spoke to the lady who gave the seminar, Shari Stauch, and later bought her internet marketing course. She taught me that there are sites on the internet that put people with inventory (my books) together with people who sell online and are looking for inventory. Her price was reasonable. I bought her service, used her advice, and this month, my royalties are triple her fee. I’m sure there are others who provide the same information, but she was the one I chose. (Still having ADD, I took the first choice.) And I hit it lucky again.
In closing, I am a very satisfied customer of self-publishing and internet marketing. My book is selling. You can find me at Amazon.com and on Google. In my own little way, I am a successful, published author. (Even a little bit famous.)